Holiday Movie Recommendations From PFS

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in A Christmas Story, Batman Returns, Blogger Ben, Christmas, Die Hard, Fireplace For Your Home: Classic Edition, He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special, Home Alone, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Jack Frost, Jingle All The Way, Just Friends, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Netflix, Santa’s Slay, Tags, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Year Without A Santa Claus, White Christmas

Hello, Film Society! After a brief hiatus, Blogger Ben is back behind the blog with brand new banter. And alliteration. Because who doesn’t love that, right?

Now that all that “End of the World” madness is behind us, we can focus on the holiday season. While you’re preparing your houses for those yuletide gatherings, writing up the last of the cards, or scouring Amazon.com for last minute gifts, maybe you’d like to throw on a Christmas movie to keep you company.

But you don’t have time to think about what to put on, right? Well that’s where I come in! I have a few lists to help you with your selection. First, I have my own personal list of five Christmas films that you might have forgotten about. Sure, you could throw on a classic like ‘A Christmas Story’, ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, or ‘Elf’, but I’ve decided to give you a few alternatives. A couple of these choices might not even come to your mind when you think of “Christmas movies”, so keep an open mind and just enjoy the randomness and playfulness of this list.

‘Jingle All The Way’

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad search far and wide for the year’s hot toy for their sons, the super cool action figure Turbo Man, just a few short days before Christmas. Everyone knows how hard it is to get that perfect present for someone, so instead of stressing yourself out in real life, space out and laugh at these two stress out instead.

Fun fact: I definitely had one of those limited edition Turbo Men action figures because I liked the movie so much as a kid.

‘Muppets Christmas Carol’

The Muppets are great any time of the year, but their antics and memorable songs manifest themselves in this unforgettable adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens story as a fun film to enjoy with the whole family. Seriously, I shouldn’t have to type this much to sell this movie. I mean, it’s the Muppets! Just press play and listen to the song below, then go out and get it on DVD or Blu-ray.

‘Batman Returns’

I know what you’re thinking, but this movie totally counts. Tim Burton’s second directorial outing with the Dark Knight takes place in Gotham at Christmas. If ‘Die Hard’ counts, then so does this. Every holiday is made better with superheroes, I always say.

‘Just Friends’ 

For a lot of people, Christmas is a time of homecoming. For a portion of those people, it’s about coming home to show how much you’ve bettered yourself since you left. At first, Ryan Reynolds’ character in this film is going for that in order to win the heart of the girl that he loved in high school, but as the story goes on, he learns an important lesson about being yourself and all that good stuff. Basically, I just think it’s a funny movie that happens to take place at Christmas, so it landed on this list. One of my favorite parts can be seen below.

‘Santa’s Slay’

Former WWE & WCW champion Bill Goldberg plays a version of Santa Claus that no longer desires to spread Christmas cheer, but rather Christmas fear. You don’t get a horror-comedy combination very often in Christmas movies, so why not check this out. It’s horribly hilarious. It’s definitely one of those get drunk with your friends and crack up movies.

‘The Year Without A Santa Claus’
I know that I said that I wouldn’t include classic Christmas movies, but this is my all time favorite Christmas movie, so I wouldn’t feel right excluding it. Stop motion animation is a holiday staple and this one has to be the best one. Featuring Shirley Booth, Mickey Rooney, and those lovable Miser Brothers, this film tells the story of the year that Santa was too sick to do his duties. In my house, it’s just not Christmas without at least one viewing of ‘The Year Without A Santa Claus’ and maybe a couple Heat Miser/Snow Miser sing-alongs.

Now if those movies aren’t up your alley, I polled the staff here at the Philadelphia Film Society office to find out their favorite Christmas movies, so maybe one of those will be a winner for you.

Alyssa: ‘A Christmas Story’
Andrew: ‘Die Hard’
Katie: ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ (1966)
Mariah: ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’
Parinda: ‘Home Alone’
Rebecca: ‘White Christmas’

Finally, just for giggles, I looked into what Netflix Instant had to offer in terms of Christmas movies. I wasn’t expecting much, but there are a few gems in their collection. Maybe one of these will suffice for your holiday viewing.

– ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’
– ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’
– ‘He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special’
– ‘Jack Frost’
– ‘Fireplace For Your Home: Classic Edition’

Yeah, the list trickles down in quality as it progresses, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fun. It’s like Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers’ franchise, except I’m more inclined to watch Michael Keaton as a snowman.

No matter what you decide to watch this holiday season, all of us here at the Philadelphia Film Society wish you and yours Happy Holidays!

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